tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 23, 2015 4:00am-6:01am EDT
correct me if i'm wrong. but i believe he made some preelection statements that canada would not purchase the f-35s. and i think they were in for 65. and so the question is about affordability. if a partner drops out of that, and i don't even know -- aim not a lawyer. i'm dangerous enough as a marine at one time is that going to have an impact on cost or what have you? >> i'm pretty sure this is my question. so let me start off by saying, it wouldn't be appropriate for me to speculate what canada will or won't do. so i won't provide any opinion about that. and i will also tell you that i have received no official motivation from canada about the
change in taught for them today. having said that, i'm prepared to tell you what the impact to the program would be if that were the case. let me exchain that to you. >> so first, the current development program that ends in 2017, there would be no effect whatsoever if canada were no longer a partner. because they had paid all the money into the development program and all the services have already paid and we intend on finishing the development program with the mop we have are so there would be no effect on the current development program. not the case for production and the price of the airplane. fae partner or any service moves airplanes did the right or takes airplanes out, the pry of the airplane for all the other partners and all the other fmf customers and all the other services goes up a little bit. in this instance, if there are 65 less a-model airplanes in that production profile, from any country, whether it be cab dan or someone else are we have
estimated that the increase in price to everyone else is 0.7 to 1%. for an "a" model today that's about $1 million a copy. for everybody else. so there is an impact to the price of the airplane for everyone else if 65 airplanes are removed from the production flow. there are other impacts. going forward, we have a follow-on modernization program and we have future sustainment of the airplane that the partnership shares in that cost. canada's share of that cost was ther 2.1%. if canada is no longer in the program that 2.1% cost of future sustainment and follow-on modernization will have to be spread among the other partners and the other u.s. services. because that is a cost that has to be paid and it wouldn't be paid by a partner who's no longer a partner. the lost one has to do with
industrial participation. today there are many canadian companies building pieces and parts for the f-35 program. we do not have a set rule as to what happens if that industrial participation if a partner reduces airplanes, adds airplanes, or even leaves the program. there are no set rules. but it is my opinion that the remaining partners and our industry partners are going to have a discussion about what to do with all of the industry in canada is building pieces and parts for the airplane. >> thank you, general. i have one more question. i apologize for the nature of the question. this is an infantry guy who's going to ask a logistics question. i did have to serve as a logistics officer and it left an indelible mark on me. not very good, i might add. you know, we get more and more questions about the engine,
everything else. i'm thinking about the maintenance of a brand-new fifth-generation aircraft that i guess it would be fourth and fifth maintain nance, degrees of maintenance, that we'd have to do. do we have the parts and the technicians that are in place right away to handle this very, very sophisticated piece of gear? or are we going to have to change on the fly and is there money available for that? >> so i'll answer the first part of that and let general hurrigan give his perspective. as the airplane continues to mature we are building a maintenance force through training at example lin air force base that continues to have to understand the changes we make to the airplane. because we're not done developing it. and older airplanes believe it or not are being maintained differently than the newer airplanes. quite frankly the newer airplanes are in better shape. we will have to continue to
update the maintenance manuals, the parts supply chain, and things until we get the fleet of airplanes up to a common standard. w you are right that we will have to continue to train our air force as we continue to change the airplane and i don't think that will change for quite a while. >> mr. mullin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, thank you very much for your service and for taking on this difficult project. i know you haven't been asked to bring the best-looking date to the dance. and that's not an easy thing to do. i'm new to this, relative. my background is also as an infantryman. i have always taken the perspective on the f-they've there are a lot of miss high takes that have been made, an awful lot of costs, fund that is have been arguably waepsed over
the years. this is far more expensive than any of us anticipated. but we're far enough down the line now where we've just got to make it work. would you agree with that statement? >> sir, i would agree that without arm chair quarterbacking or trying to figure out why decisions were made in the past, that we have incurred significant schedule and cost increases in the past on the program. some of them are normal to programs, others were a result of decisions that were made. what i would like to add, though, is since we rebaselined the program in 2011, we have nod had a single cost increase and we have nod asked congress or the partners for an added penny since 2011. >> which is a great achievement but it's quite a baseline. >> oh, yes, sir. i would agree with you in 2011, when we were rebaselined, we added two years and a few
billion to the program. >> several analysts have commented that one of the fundamental mistakes may have been trying to incorporate so many mission capabilities into a single aircraft, rather than having aircraft built for more specific specifications. the f-22 in contrast with the f-35 most folks think is quite successful. would you agree with that statement as well? >> i know very little about the f-22 program. i'll ask the general who flew the airplane to comment on that. >> in the early years of f-22, we had some of the very similar types of problems. from software, fusion, taking software from the lab and making it work in the airplane. quite frankly i think that's why the chief asked me to do this job because there were some lessons that we needed to make sure we brought forward into the f-35. so my response would be, while
single-mission airplanes which initially we thought the f-22 was going to be, we ended up making it multi-mission because we needed it it for capacity across the joint fight. we looked at the f-35, we needed it to accomplish several mission sets, so that as we looked into the future we had the capacity we needed to execute all those different missions for the joint force commander. >> i guess when where i'm coming at fundamentally are there are an awful lot of folks on the committee and congress in general who feel like we've invested a lot of money and we've got to make sure this thing works. you don't make economic decisions based on sum costs. so my question is who in the air force is looking at this project from a much higher level and saying, is this still the best decision to buy the number of airplanes we have, or should we be talking about potentially, not for certain, potentially
devoting resources to accelerating the development of the next generation of aircraft? or perhaps accelerating the development of a next generation of aircraft multiple that would fulfill different mission sets and maybe not be susceptible to the same problems this program has encountered? >> yes, sir. in fact, the chief has directed, and they're actually reporting to him, what's called an enterprise capability team to get exactly after your question of, as we look into 2030, what should this look like? as we go forward and we look at the required mikth of what capabilities we need verses the future threats that we envision out there, what is the right mix of capabilities that the air force will need? they're to report out to him in the early part of next year. i think that will be a real good opportunity to get a better understanding how we see ourselves moving forward. >> mr. chairman, i would
respectfully request that we swa entertain that discussion as part of our debate about the f-they've. it's very easy in this environment to get so consumed of the challenges and program problems of this one program to not be thinking ahead from the perspective of think about what the best decisions are going forward to meet the threats of 2030, which could indeed include cutting back on the current program. so thank you very much and i yield my time. >> i invite you, we go to eglin to look at the operation of the plane, we have a number of classified briefings that will give you greater fidelity of what this plane does and what the needs and threats are. i think at that point you'll probably be very satisfied. i appreciate that we continuously ask that question. it's not a question we should ever stop asking. i think as you become familiar with what the operational capabilities of this plane are. that you'll similarly come to the same conclusion that we did
in the national defense authorization act. >> we shall see, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, gentlemen. let me say i'm one of those pilots that would be at the quote-unquote edges of the envelope of what you talked about there. i'd have to gain about 15 pounds in order to be able to fly the f-35 today. so i understand the switcher roo thing you're talking about that the pilots are going to have to move, delaying the chute coming out, is that putting them in increased risk, in a 0-0 situation where obviously every nano second actually counts? >> yeah, actually, as it turns out, match, for a lightweight pilot, talladedelaying the open the chute until the seat slows down does not increase at all the risk of ground impact or that pilot getting out of the seat. because a lightweight pilot in the cat as a result phase gets shot up high ever so we had mar gyp. >> let me say, like the chairman
said, we need a fifth-generation fighter capability. strong supporter of us relevanting this capability. as an airman myself became take for granted air prrt and what that take and making sure we have denied access. i've been to the fak 3 and strongly support us developing this capability for our national security and the war fighter. i am concerned that this airplane is releasing all our legacy fighters and the jack of all trades, master of none. and specifically replacing the a-10 in the close air support missions that it uniquely brings to the fight. when we talked in april we had a discussion about some limitations in that replacement of the unique capability and close air support. i'll run through them as a reminder. in the a-model some of these were nice capability, lack of the ability to pass nine lines via data, time on station being 20 to 30 minutes. in the follow-on capabilities, mu anythings only 180 bullets.
time to station 45 minutes. dr. gilmore agreed the f-35 would not be able to survive a direct hit. like the a-10 can. and still allow the pilot to at least fly into friendly territory so they're not taken p.o.w. and lit on fire in a cage like we've seen happen to the jordanian pilots. these are important capabilities. the shortfalls were identified in the april hearing. i was glad to see in august dr. gilmore announce there would be a head-to-head test against the a-10 and f-35. i don't want to put words in your mouth. i think you were not supportive of that test? i think you said it wasn't a good use of taxpayers' money? i disagree with you there, general bogdan, i think it's a very good use of taxpayer money. if the f-35 is going to iplace the a-10 we need to identify whether we're going to have a decrease in the unique capabilities in the that mission set. that includes the loiter time, the lethality, 1174 bullets, the
ability to take a direct hit, and all that the a-10 brings to the fight. so i just wanted to get your perspective on the record about that head-to-head test, how that came about. and also i'm skeptical about it, quite frankly, with all the things we've seen the air force try to do to go against the will of this congress and backdoor retiring the a-10. you can set up a test to have any sort of result you want. so is the test going to specifically address not high-end, high-sophisticated air defense circumstances, but where we have air superiority and those unique capabilities of the loiter time, lethality, maneuverability, and to do a continuous cast fight and take a direct hit, will that be a part of that test? >> ma'am, if you don't mind, i'll come back first. i think you're probably fall yart chief came back and said we're supportive of executing comparative testing -- >> after he called it silly, but yes. >> at this point we're working closely with our air force operational test center folks.
working closely with dotne to formulate exactly what that test will look like. specifically looking at multiple scenarios, both in the contested and permissive environments. looking at different ranges. time to arrive on target, loiter time, all those types of things will be incorporated for the appropriate analysis to ensure that at the end of the day we're delivering the platform that's effective and suitable in the environments we're going to operate it in. >> great. i'm interested in continuing to interact and see how that test going. general bogdan, do you have anything else to add? >> yes, ma'am. what you described is exactly what i think should be done with the f-35. that is, test it in ra realistic operational environment for the cast mission that the air force intends the f-35 to do. not the cast mission that the air force intends the f-35 to, do looking like an a-10. the problem that i have is that money that i'm going to spend
doing the testing on the a-10 could be used elsewhere. and i know the outcome of that test. i'll give you an example. you have a deck athlete in the olympics, you have a 100-meter sprinter. fy put the 100-meter sprinter and the deck athlete on the starting line for a 100-meter sprint, i don't know who's going to win it. i don't need to test the a-10 to figure out what the f-35 can do in a close air support role. what i would prefer to do is test the air-355 as the air force sees the requirements for that mission for the f-35. >> i hear you and i'm out of time. but i think us envisioning that we're never going to have close air support where guys are on the run, they're out of ammo, they're doing a mirror flash into your eye, they don't have time to do standoff casts because of the complex circumstances, if we think that's never going to happen again?
i think we're lying to ourselves. >> you are correct, you're out of time. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. ranking member sanchez. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and first of all, thank you for holding this. because as you know, you and i have been through a lot of growing pains on this f-35 program. and i know people have mentioned they've been down to the factory. we've been to the factory and we've been to the factory overseas and we've been to see them in action and we've been to talk to the pilots and we've been and we've been and we've been. so what we have on our hands is the fact that this is going to be our production plane for the future. so we've got to make sure that it's the best that we have. the best that we need. i think the gentleahe lady from arizona is correct in saying she supports this and i also am glad for her knowledge of fighter
planes and i don't know if i'm glad for your persistence on keeping the a-10, i don't know where i am on that, really. but i'm glad that you're on and that you're asking the questions and that you keep hitting it. because we need to, as well as -- i'm sorry for coming late but i heard the gentleman from massachusetts have some concerns and some follow-up. so that's the role of this subcommittee. so thank you to my fellow colleagues for continuing to push and continuing to push our program people to make sure that we get the best plane that we need. i have a couple of questions. the first has to do with the 136-pound weight limitation. so i have been one of the people on this committee that has pushed for women in more roles in the military.
and the gentle lady from arizona acknowledged that she weighs a lot less than i do. and my question is, i'm concerned with the long-term weight limitation and if it disadvantages our female pilots and their eligibility to fly the. >> the f-35 because ouromen do tend to be lower in weight. if the 136-pound weight limitation remains in place for more than a few more weeks how is that going to impact the follow-on on the cadres of the female pilots that we have in the air force? and have any of our female pilots already been sort of diverted off of going towards the f-35 because of this weight limitation? >> ma'am, i'll answer the technical part of that and let general horriqan answer the part about air force pilots.
we have known fixes to the problems that currently restrict the pilot population to less than 136 pounds. they include a lighter helmet. they include a weight switch on the seat. they include a pad on the back of the risers of the parachute that prevent anybody's neck from moving forward or aft too much. all those solutions should be in place within the next 12 to 18 months. and at that point in time, the restriction should be removed and we will go down to 103-pound pilot as well as the size of the pilot is not an issue. but we designed the seat for the smallest and lightest folks. so i think you'll find that in the next 18 months or so, we will make this ejection seat as safe as we possibly can for the entire population. i'll let gone horrigan talk about the pilot through-put and
female pilots. >> thanks, ma'am. so we had one pilot that was less than 136 pounds, in fact a male, and so he's no longer flying the f-35. and due to where he was in his career, his leadership decided it's best we move him to another airplane so he can continue his career. we have a female that's flying the airplane right now. she's still flying the airplane right now. but to your point, i think the longer term is we didn't have anybody in the pipeline right now that was impacted. but certainly if this takes 12 to 18 months, there may be a person or persons out there that it could impact. so that's something we're going to have to take a look at. as you're well aware, the secretary and the chief are -- have made it clear that 103 pounds to 245 is our requirement and general bogdanica knows
that's where we need to go and he knows we're working hard to get there. >> great. i would hate for that to be the reason for our women to not be able to move forward. >> congressman, can i make one other -- >> -- our next real generation plane for the next 20 or 30 years. >> could i make one other comment? we have partners and fms customers in the program that are equally concerned about this problem because much of their population of pilots, whether he be male or female, are on the lower end of the scale. and so i have heard from many partners, many fms customers, as well as the air force, navy, marine corps, about how important this is to fix and it has my full attention, ma'am. >> greating. thank you, general. my last question is about the follow-on development for the f-35. and so while the initial engineering, manufacturing and
development stage of the f-35 program is supposedly going to be wrapping up in the next two years, there's another, more potentially and very expensive follow-on development that we already have slated for the future of this program. and the follow-on effort is mostly software upgrades that i can tell as i read through everything, is mostly software upgrades to incorporate additional weapons and electronic capability into the aircraft. but even though it's just an upgrade effort, the budget is not small. i mean, when i look at it, through 2020 i see more than $2.6 billion in research and development on that effort projected. to be clear, that's on top of the baseline f-35 development effort that has seen years of delay and cost overruns and i don't want to go over all of that because you've heard me pounce on that for a long time now.
i know these further upgrades are essential but i think it's important for us to try to get a handle on this before it gets out of whack as we've seen initially this are this project from the very beginning. i have some specific questions about the follow-on effort. first, before the program starts this major effort, it obviously needs a clear set of prioritized requirements from the u.s. military services and from our foreign partners that are involved in this. and so does the f-35 program have a prioritized list from the u.s. military services with respect to what it really wants in the follow-on development? and if not, why not? >> yes, ma'am.
you have boiled this down to the essence of one of the issues with follow-on development today. with 14 different customers, we have a large amount of requirements that i today believe are unaffordable. so as we validate the cdd, the capability document, through the air force requirements oversight council, and then up to the joint requirements oversight council, and i go to the -- what i call my board of directors for the partners, we have asked them to prioritize that list of requirements. because today, i believe that trying to achieve all those requirements in the next eight to ten years will be unaffordable. so the process has begun. we believe in december we will get our first look at that set of priorities. and then in the springtime when the afric and jroc meet to
validate the requirements, i believe that's where we will finally join all this together to get what i would consider to be a reasonable amount of requirements that are affordable. because i do not disagree with you, ma'am. i have learned a lot of lessons in three years on what the original emd program looked like. i don't want the follow-on program to look anything like that. >> because the follow-on program -- as you know, i mean, we've really gone through very painful, on both sides, very painful -- this has been a painful process. and that's a nice word for it. so this development and what everybody wants and how it interacts and what it gets i think is incredibly important to have that priority list. i'll look forward to that in december 2015 and i will look forward to it after your capability document validation. second, in other similar upgrade programs, congress has required
the d.o.d. to designate them as major subprograms. or completely separate programs, actually. and the reason for that has been to -- so that we can actually see the cost visibility and we can actually track what is going on. so should congress do the same thing with this follow-on effort for the f-35? and if not, why not? >> the simple answer is, no, ma'am. i'll tell you why not. so first, my pledge to this committee and to the other defense committees and to my partners and to the services is, we will set up the follow-on modernization program with every level of visibility and transparency that you and they believe they need for that appropriate oversight. we'll put the earned value management pieces in there. we will cost separate in the contracts so you can see how we are spending the money. but to make this a separate program, or even to make it a
separate program, brings a whole host of administrative burdens that mr. kendall wants to try and avoid to become more agile in terms of acquisition. i agree with him. i think we can set up a program that satisfies the needs of everyone in terms of transparency and understanding when the program is on track and not on track without designating it as its own program. my promise to the committees is, if you don't believe when we get our acquisition strategy in place that you don't like that, then we will come and talk to you and figure out what you do like. i have asked your staffs to help us in what you would like to see in that modernization program in terms of reporting. because we can do that. we can do that without setting up a separate program. >> well, we'll have to talk to our staff and see, you know,
what we'll look at. maybe a program, a separate line might be required if we're really going to track this. i just -- i just have the scars from the initial program, you know. even before the three years you've been in. so thank you very much for your information. we'll try to work with you. thank you. mr. chairman, thank you. >> if i can add to that, as the war fighter, ma'am, understanding the programmatics and the importance of ensuring we've got our prioritized requirements which we are working hard as a service with the other services to make sure we've got it right, i think it's important to remember the threat is not sitting on their hands. and they continue to evolve. so from our perspective, it's imperative that we have a stabilized, thoughtful follow-on modernization program that brings new capabilities to this airplane so we stay ahead of the curve. and ma'am, that's all i'd like to ensure that the committee remembers as we work our way through this. thank you.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. i wanted to ask you about the helmet too. i know you want to make changes to the helmet. so it is more compatible for all the pilots in the air force. i know that's going to be a really big priority for you. but i wanted to ask you about the hmds. because i know that that is a big part of what makes the f-35 special is the helmet itself. and that there's been a lot of technology put into it. and one of the things that we've heard in previous hearings that we've had on sequester was that being able to implement new technology under a sequester system can be tough. so working under sequester how quickly can changes be made to the helmet? >> the changes and the improvements we're making to the helmet, congressman, are part of the broper std program.
because our std program is incrementally funded, even with a cr or a sequestration, we would still be able to continue those critical development activities like the helmet. we would ensure that those kind of things are not impacted. there are many other thins that would be impacted. but in this respect, finishing the development program and creating the capability that we promised the war fighter is our number one priority. and i think we can do that. there's many other impacts but not that one. >> and one more question about the helmet itself. again, i know just the incredible technology that has gone into developing the helmet. and again, being able to make questioning changes to the helmet so everybody can fly. is it more realistic to make changes to, like, the head support panel or delaying the deployment of the parachute in order to make it to where all the pilots can fly the plane
instead of actually trying to make very complicated technology changes to the helmet? >> congressman, the simple answer to your question is, no, we need a lighter helmet. it's as simple as that. all the other things that you talked about are also needed to ensure that we have safe escape for the whole pilot population but we do have to take weight out of the helmet. the one pointed like to make about taking weight out of the helmet is we are not changing any of the electronics, we are not changing any of the sensors in the helmet. to remove the six ounces that we need to the helmet to get it underweight, what we're doing is taking the material that's used tor for the strapping and the cushioning of the helmet and change that material to something lighter and stronger. and the second thing that we're doing is, today's helmet has a dual visor on it. daytime visor and a nighttime visor. we are going to remove the double visor and put a simply
daytime visor on it such that if the pilot needs to change to the nighttime visor just like the legacy airplanes, he or she will reach into their pocket and take the daytime visor off and put the nighttime visor on. those two are fairly simple things to do. now, i never want to say anything is easy in the f-35 program because nothing is ever easy. but in this instance here, i think we've got it just about right because we're not going to mess with any of the high technology things that make that helmet what it is. >> okay. good. thank you. mr. chairman, thank you very much. >> mr. grant. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both for your service. thank you for being here. as a north floridian, boast egeland and tendle, incredibly important. your service with so many men and women in north florida is certainly appreciated. so thank you.
mr. chairman, went dead we go on that kodel. >> in march. >> and it was so informative. and really impressed with the f-35. there was one area that, though, there was consistent concern both with the pilots and with the maintenance, those what maintained the airplanes. and i'm not going to use an acronym because i've ernd la the not use acronyms but it's got a snappy one. but it's autonomic logistics system, aka alice. so there were real concerns about false, you know, errors reporting. and i'm just curious, have we resolved some of the software issues that alice was facing? thank you so much. >> i'll give you the technical answer and i'll let the general give you the war fighter's perspective. so since your visit down there we took a look at that health
reporting code problem. and we've done a number of things since then that have improved the situation. the first thing we did was, we put a new increment of software and capability into the alice system. we call it alice 2.01. that fixed one of the problems. another part of the problem is we did not have a complete list of those codes that were false, so to speak, at the time. and we were worried that if we made the list too big, that a code that really wasn't false would get overlooked. we have a lot more time on the airplane now and a lot more maturity in the airplane. so we were able to upgrade that list. bottom line here is, 80% number that you heard down at egeland, which wassing accurate, for the entire fleet today is half that now. that's not the best part of the story, because that's the whole fleet. the best part of the story is lot six and lot seven airplanes
we are fielding today, because they have many of the r and, many improvements that we made over the last two years, they are only seeing a very small handful, like ones and twos when they land each and every day. so that 40% now that used to be 80% includes all the older airplanes that until they're upgraded, they're going to still have that issue. but the newer airplanes, much better. general has some experience with the new l lot seven airplanes that they've been using and he might be able to tell you more. >> those airplane, ma'am, we have three of them up there. and they have not lost since they delivered them. as we have delivered these newer airplanes, they are performing really, really well. and egeland still had some of the older ones so they struggle with some of the older systems that the program office has continued to update over time, even since last march as general bogdon points out.
so it continues to improve. having said that, there's still going to be challenges as we understand alice and put our maintainers in the field working with that system with the program office. i'll tell you one of the things we did is we had our senior logistic leaders from all the f-35 bases and the folks come together to talk about what are the big issues. this of course was one of them. we provided a list of some specific things, this fault reporting code issue being one of them, that we have worked very closely with the program office to get feedback from our airmen in the field and get them to the program office so they can work through and prioritize those to get to the most important issues to ensure we're fixing the right things on the airplane. >> well, that is really great to hear because i could hear the frustration that they were faced with all of these false negatives that they were having to deal with. is it -- you mentioned other
airplanes. are they using the same software system they're using alice? >> yeah, all the airplanes in the fleet are using alice. it's just the newer airplanes have many of the fixes in terms of software and hardware that we learned from the older airplanes. so if you went to egeland today what you would find on their flight line is airplanes that are in what we call the block one configuration, believe it or not, and 2a configuration. when those airplanes get con fig rated to the 2b configuration or block three con fig lags, you're going to find a lot of those problems have gone away. we just haven't had time to back fit and modify those older airplanes. >> great. my time has expired. thank you very much. good, positive update. thank you. >> mr. chairman, thank you for the accommodation and thank you, generals, for your presentation
and for your service. i wanted to be clear, did you say in your opening testimony that you have accepted -- you have received 79 f-35s to date? >> yes, ma'am. in the air force we have. >> so with the 79 that you've received do they all have this ejection seat issue? >> yes, ma'am. every airplane. >> now, i understand that you tested the ejection seat on lighter -- on a mannequin that was 135 pounds. i also understood you tested it on a 245-pound mannequin but it has not been tested on a mannequin between the weight of 135 and 245, is that correct? >> in the development test program we do have those test points planned out.
but you are correct, as of today, we've done the high end and the low end. >> so my concern is this. if we know there's a problem on the low end, we haven't tested it for those who are likely to be most pilots, between the weight of 135 and 245, and we have them in these planes now testing them, are we putting any of them at risk? >> the answer to that is no, ma'am, because we have done the risk analysis on the test points that we have had on the ejection seat. what we have found is the only area where we have a problem today is with the light-weight pilot below 136 pounds because when we have tested throughout the envelope -- you can't test every point for every weight. but the areas that we have
tested indicate that in the heart of the envelope, for the heart of the pilot population, there is not any increased risk of injury at all. i can show you that analysis, ma'am. >> all right. thank you. >> ma'am, from the service perspective, we have a life cycle management center that is part of our airworthiness organization. and they have -- ma'am, to be clear, i talked with the guys who had been working with us for 30 years because clearly this is an important issue for us and we share and talk have been closely with the program office with this. they've shown us the chart, how it lays out. and what the risk levels are. and so as general bogdon said, there are certain risks there. we've accepted it, except the low end beneath 136 pounds. >> well, there's been some
report that there's been a memo that you accepted general bogdon, that accepted a 1 in 4 risk of death with a problem with the ejection system as being a risk that is worth taking, i guess. is that correct? >> ma'am, that is incorrect. the data that you have came from a reporter who got a copy of an official use only internal dod document that my team put together to assess the risks of a lightweight pilot and a pilot between 136 and 165 pounds. that document should have never been publicly released. i have an investigation ongoing to figure out how that reporter got it. but the worse part of this is, the reporter did not know how to read the report, ma'am. so let me give you the actual facts. today a pilot that weighs less
than 136 pounds, if he steps to the airplane, he or she, has a 1 in 50,000 chance of hurting their neck from an ejection. a pilot between 136 pounds and 165 pounds has a 1 in 200,000 probability of having neck injury from ejection. the individual who reported on this is not an expert in system safety. >> okay. let me -- my time is running out. as i understand it, the test was done under ideal circumstances. is there any reason to feel that the results would be any different in circumstances where it was going not at ideal speeds but -- and not going straight but going up? >> your time has expired? generals, i want to thank you for being here.
you have continued to provide the information as required by this committee. and we will continue to hold this program accountable and provide oversight. not just because there are issues or problems that have arisen, which there are, but because this program is so incredibly important. it needs to be safe for our pilots. it needs to be safe for our country. and it needs to be able to perform at the level that it has been asked to perform because the gap that this plane is going to fill is incredibly important. so with that, i thank you both for your service. i that you both know that we will continue to work both through the hearing committee structure and throughout the calendar year to both inquire and to work with you to ensure this plane can deliver. thank you.
friday's washington journal will be dedicated entirely to your reaction to hillary clinton's testimony before the house benghazi committee. we'll have two hours of your phone call, tweets, and facebook posts beginning at 7:00 a.m. eastern time on c-span. an update on fraud attempts that target the elderly friday morning from a house energy and commerce subcommittee.
we'll bring this to you live at 9:15 a.m. eastern on c-span3. >> c-span provides the best access for cover ran of former secretary of state hillary clinton testifying before the house select committee on benghazi. >> there was no credible actionable threat known to our intelligence community against our compound. >> our commercials or commentary will air in its entirety saturday and sunday at noon eastern on c-span. former defense secretary robert gates testified before the senate armed services committee on current u.s. defense policy and strategic posture. he discussed budget challenges, defense department, veterans affairs coordination, troop morale and on going missions including those in the middle east. this is just under 2 hours and 30 minutes.
context in global challenging -- challenges facing the united states to alternative defense strategies and the future of warfare to the civilian and military organizations of the department of defense, as well as its acquisition, personnel, and management systems, much of which is the legacy of the goldwater nichols reformed enacted in 1986. there is no one, in my view, in america that is better to help us begin this effort than our distinguished witness, the former secretary of defense robert gates. we welcome him back for his first testimony to congress since leaving the department. dr. gates, we know that you have eagerly awaited this day with all of the anticipation of a root canal. few defense, in my few, none, defense leaders can match dr. gates' record as a reformer. he directed more than $100 billion in internal efficiencies
in the department of defense. he eliminated dozens of failing or unnecessary acquisition programs. he held people accountable. he even fired a few. and yet by his own account dr. gates left overwhelmed by the scope and scale of the problems at the defense department. this is the purpose of the oversight effort we are beginning today, to define these problems clearly and rigorously and only then to consider what reforms may be necessary. there is profound urgency to this effort. the worldwide threats confronting our nation now and in the future have never been more complex, uncertain, and counting. america will not succeed in the 21st century with anything less than the most innovative, agile, and efficient, and effect i defense organization. i have not met a senior civilian or military leader who thinks we have that today. in no way is this a criticism of
the many patriotic mission-focused public servants, both in and out of uniform, who sacrifice every day and here at home and around the world to keep us safe. to the contrary, it's because we have such outstanding people that we must strive to remove impediments in our defense organizations that would squander the talents of our troops and civil servants. and now some would argue that the main problems facing the department of defense come from the white house, national security council staff, interagency, and, yes, the congress. you will find no argument here, especially about the dysfunction of congress. we must be find mul of these big bigger problems but addressing many of them is outside of this committee's jurisdiction. americans hold our military in the highest regard, as we should. at the same time, our witness will explain the problems that he encountered at the defense department are real and serious. just consider chart one here. in constant dollars our nation is spending almost the same
amount on defense as we were 30 years ago. but for this money today, we are getting 35% fewer combat brigades, 53% fewer ships, 63% fewer combat air squadrons, and significantly more overhead. how much is difficult to establish because the department of defense does not even have complete and reliable data as gao has repeatedly found. of course our forces are more capable now than 30 years ago but our adversaries are also more capable. at the same time, many of the weapons in our arsenal today, our care craft, ship, tank shs and fighting vehicle, rifle, and missiles and strategic forces are the products of the military modernization of the 1980s. and no matter how much more capable our troops and weapons are today, they are not capable of being in two places at once. our declining combat capacity cannot be divorced from the
problems in our defense acquisition system which one high level study summed up as follows. quote, the defense acquisition system has basic problems that must be corrected. these problems are deeply entrerchled and have developed over several decades from an increasingly bureaucratic and over regulated process. as a result, all too many of our weapons systems cost too much, take too long to develop, and by the time they are fielded, incorporate obsolete technology. sounds right. but that was the packard in 1986. and since then, since 1986, as this chart shows, cost overruns and schedule delays on major defense acquisitions have only gotten worse. defense programs are now nearly 50% over budget and, on average, over two years delayed. it's telling that perhaps the most significant defense procurement success story, the mrat which dr. gates himself led
was produced by going around the acquisition system, not through it. the rising cost of our defense personnel system is also part of the problem. as chart three show, over the past 30 years the average fully burden dned cost per service member, all of the pays and lifetime benefits that military service now entails has increased 270%. and yet all too often the department of defense has sought to control these personnel costs by cutting operating forces while civilian and military headquarter staff has not changed and even grown, indeed. since 1985 the instrength of the joint force has decreased by 38% but the percentage of four-star officers in that force has increased by 65%. these reductions in combat power have occurred while the department's overhead elements,
especially its contractor workforce, have exploded. nearly 1.1 million personnel now perform overhead activities in the defense agencies, military departments and service staffs in washington headquarters services. an analysis by mckenzie and company found less than one quarter of active duty troops were in combat roles with majority instead performing overhead activities. recent studies by the defense business board and others confirmed that little as changed in this regard. the u.s. tooth detail ratio was well below the global ampl including such countries as russia, india, and ba zil. for years, decades in some wayses, gao identified the administrative functions of department of defense at being at high risk of waste, fraud, abuse, and duplication of effort. perhaps none of this should be surprising when you consider the judgment of jim locker, the lead staffer on this committee during the defense reorganization
efforts three decades ago, quote, the remedies applied by goldwater nichols to defense management in administration have largely been ineffective. they were never a priority for the drafters and troubling trends remain. the pentagon is choking on bureaucra bureaucracy. he wrote that 14 years ago and the problem has only gotten worse. ultimately we must ask whether the defense department is succeeding in its development and execution of strategy policy and plans. the office of the secretary of defense, the service secretaries and service staffs, joint staff, and the combatant commands are all bigger than ever. but is the quality of civilian oversight and control of the military better? has the quality of military advice to civilian leaders improved? are the joint duty assignments or military officers must perform producing a more unified fighting force? in short, is the department of defense more successful at planning for war, waging war, and winning war?
goldwater nichols was perhaps the most consequential defense reform since the creation of the department of defense. and while the world has changed profoundly since 1986, the basic organization of the department of defense, as well as the roles and missions of its major civilian and military actors, has not changed all that much since goldwater nichols. it must be asked, is a 30-year-old defense organization equal to our present and future national security challenges? i want to be clear. this is a forward looking effort. our task is to determine whether the department of defense and our armed forces are set up to be maximally successful and our current and future national security challenges. we will be guided in this effort by the same principles that inspired past defense reform efforts including goldwater nichols, enhancing civilian control of the military, improving military advice,
operational effectiveness, and joint officer management, and providing for a better use of defense resources among others. this oversight initiative is not a set of solutions in search of problems. we will neither jump to conclusions nor tilt at the symptoms of problems. we will take the time to look deeply for the incentive and root causes that drive behavior. and we will always, always be guided by that all important principle, first do no harm. finally, this must and will be a bipartisan endeavor. defense reform is not a republican or democratic issue. and we will keep it that way. these are vital national security issues and we must seek to build a consensus about how to improve the organization, operation of the department and defense that can and will be advanced by whomever wins next year's elections. that is in keeping with the best traditions of this committee. and it is how dr. gates has always approached this important
work across administrations of both parties. we thank dr. gates for his decades of service to our nation, for generousry offering us the benefit of your insights and experiences today. and i'd like to apologize for the long statement, dr. gates. but i take -- i believe that this hearing must set the predicate for a number of future hearings that we will be having in order to carry out, achieve the objectives that i just outlined. senator reid? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, and dr. gates, welcome back to the senate armed services committee. let me join the chairman in thanking you for your willingness to testify today. and also underscore how thoughtful and how appropriate the chairman's remarks are with respect to the need for a careful bipartisan review of policy and defense department and change in the defense party. i must also apologize as i've
told you before, i have 200 or so rhode island business leaders that i must inform all day long today so i won't be here for the whole hearing. i apologize to the chairman, also. it's no accident that the chairman has asked you, dr. gates, to testify today on -- as the first witness in a major effort to look at the department of defense. you have more than 1500 days as secretary of defense, decades serving the united states government, roles that range of national security council to central intelligence agency and then, of course, the department of defense. in your vast experience with dod and interagency process, especially in post september 11th context, will be important to the committee's study of these issues as we go forward. and while you are secretary of defense you were an outspoken critic of your own department and its ability to manage critical competing priority, funding military modernization and ensuring forces are supported appropriately. in a speech before the american
enterprise institute you said the department is, in your words, a semi futile system, amall gor, allocate resource, track expenditures and manage as a result of department's overall priorities. as a policy making in the legislative branch, this kind of assessment is deeply concerning but also very helpful in terms of giving us a direction if i look forward to hearing your ideas and thinking about the changes that you recommend to us for addressing these issues. congress has tried to help address some of these problems as you have rightly noted in creating the deputy chief management officer, but one person is not enough to create a compel systemic change in the largest organization on earth. and during your tenure you created two ad hoc entities in the department, the chairman mentioned, to address rapidly dangerous issues to our troops. the mine ambush protected, mrat and intelligence surveillance
reconnaissance. both of these endeavors were very successful but they are just an indication of the kind of more holistic and comprehensive change that we need to undertake in the department of defense. also in your american enterprise institute speech you made a critical point. since 2001 we have seen a near doubling of the pentagon's modernization accounts that has resulted in relatively modest gains and actual military capability. this should be of a concern to all of us. and we welcome your recommendations on how to bring changes necessary to ensure that we're getting what we're paying for. in fact, getting more, we hope, bang for our buck. you've also spoken about the need for defense to be stable and predictable in the importance of the role of congress in ensuring that such stability is provided. former dod comptroller bob heal who served with you in the pentagon wrote recently about the budget turmoil he experienced during his tenure, including sequestration, a government shutdown and
continued resolutions. specifically he wrote this budget turmoil imposed a high price on the dod and the nation it serves. the price is not measured on dollars since dod certainly didn't get any extra findings to pay the cost but rather the price at the efficiency and effectiveness of the department's issues and we are still confronting those issues today. finally, during your tenure, dr. galts, you were strong advocate not only for our military but also funding the soft power, tools of state craft, our diplomacy, developmental efforts and our ability to communicate, goals and values that rest of the world. as we consider steps to making d of,d more effective i would also be interested in your thoughts and porngs of our national security in enhancing civilian elements of national power and also the impact that sequestration has on these elements. again, thank you, dr. gates, for your service. i look forward to your testimony. >> dr. gates? >> chairman mccain, senator
reed, probably the least sincere sentence in the english language is, mr. chairman, it's a pleasure to be here with you today. frankly short of a subpoena i never thought i would be in a congressional hearing gab and some of the things i wrote in a book, i'm rather surprised to be invited back. thank you for your kind introductory remarks and for the invitation to address the important topic of defense reform. i also commend you, mr. chairman, for attempting to transcend the deadly headlines and crises of the moment to focus this committee and hopefully the rest of the congress on institutional challenges. while i've stayed in touch with my successors periodically and have followed developments from afar, very afar, my testimony today is based predominantly on my experience as defense secretary between december 2006 and july 2011. and being engaged in two wars, every single day during that
period. so my comments this morning may not necessarily account for all of the changes that have taken place over the last four years. i joined cia to do my bit in the defense of our country 50 years ago next year. i've served eight presidents. with the advantage of that half century perspective i'd like to open with two broad points. first, while it is tempting and conventional wisdom to assert that the challenges facing the united states internationally have never been more numerous or compl complex, reality is that turbulent, unstable, and unpredictable times have recurred to challenge u.s. leaders regularly since world war ii. soviets tighten their grip on western europe and surprise western leaders and intelligence agencies by detonating their first atomic device. frequent crises during the '50s, korean war, china over taiwan,
pressures from the joint chiefs of staff to help france by using nuclear weapons in indochina. war in the middle east, uprisings in eastern europe, and revolution in cuba. during the '60s, war in vietnam, another era of israeli war and confrontations with the soviets from berlin to cuba. in the '70s, soviet assertively in africa and invasion of afghanistan and yet another arab/israeli war and oil i'm barba goes. p '80s brought surrogate crises in lebanon and sfwer vengs in panama. and in the '90s we had the first gulf war, military action in the bull can, somalia, haiti, missile at tacts in iraq, and first al qaeda attacks on the united states. the point of recounting these historical examples is that americans, including all too often our leaders, regard international crises and military conflict as aberrations when, in fact, and sad to say,
they are the norm. convinced time and again that a new era of tranquility is at hand, especially after major conflicts, presidents and congresses tend to believe they have a choice when it comes to the priority given national security. and correspondingly significantly reduce the resources provided to defense, the state department, and cia. in the short term at least, until the next crisis arrives, they do have a choice. and the budget cutters and deficit hocks have their way. but in the longer term, there really is no choice. while we may not be interested in aggressor, terrorists revounch and expansionists half a world away, they ultimately are always interested in us or in our interest or our allies and friends. and we always discover then that we went too far in cutting and need to rearm. that the cost in treasure and in the blood of our young men and women are always far higher than if we had remained strong and
prepared all along. the primary question right now before the congress and the president is the priority you give to defense which at roughly 15% of federal expenditures is the lowest percentage of the federal budget since before world war ii. without proper and predictable funding no amount of reform or clever reorganization will provide america with a military capable of accomplishing the missions assigned to it. m the second and related point i think highly germane to your deliberations is that our record since vietnam in predicting where we will use military force next, even a few months out, is perfect. we have never once gotten it right. just think about it. grenada, lebanon, libya twice, iraq now three times, afghanistan, the balkans, panama, somalia, haiti, and most recently west africa to combat ebola.
because we cannot predict the place and future engagement we must provide premium on requiring equipmentnd training to give our forces the most versatile possible capabilities across the broadest possible spectrum of conflict. these two lessons on funding and flexibility must underpin any defense reform effort whether the focus is on bureaucratic organization, command structures, acquisition, or budgets. all that said, it is completely legitimate to ask whether our defense structures and processes are giving us the best possible return on taxpayer dollars spent on our military. and the answer in too many cases is no. in this context the questions the committee are considering are in my view the correct ones. namely, whether any countries institutions and national defense are organized, manned, equipped, and manged in ways that can deal with the security challenges of the 21st century and that efficiency and effectively spend defense
dollars. as chairman over the next 15 minutes or so make observations object goldwater anything kols, acquisition policy, the interagency process and budget. we can then delve into these and other matters as the committee sees fit. first, goldwater nichols at 30 years and question whether the ambition of the original legislation has been fulfilled or is additional legislation of similar magnitude needed in light of all the changes that have taken place over the last three decades. my perspectives on the current structure of the defense department is shaped primarily by my experience as secretary overseeing a military fighting two wars. i discovered early on that i led a department designed to plan for war but not to wage war, at least for the long term. the swift victory of the 1991 persian gulf conflict seemed to validate all post-vietnam changes to our military including the landmark 1986 legislation. but the pentagon clearly was not
organized to deal with protracted conflicts like iraq and afghanistan, which contrary to the wishes of most americans, most assuredly will not be the last sustained ground campaigns waged by our military. in this respect, goldwater nichols succeeded all too well by turning services fors for and equipment providering walled off from operational responsibilities. now the exclusive domain of combatant commanders. this became especially problematic in unconventional conflicts, requiring capabilities usually immediately that was significantly different than what was in prewar procurement pipeline. just one illustrative example. while there was and is a joint process to deal with the on going needs of battlefield commanders it was left up to the designated military service to reprioritize the budget to find the funding for those needs. it will come as no surprise to
you that with some regularity the designated service decided that ur jant battlefield need did not have as high a priority for funding as its long-term programs of record. these were mostly advanced weapons systems designed for future conflicts and had near sacrosanct status making it difficult to generate much enthusiasm for other nearer term initiatives that might compete for funds. i soon learned that the only way i could get significant new or additional equipment to commanders in the field in weeks or months, not years, was to take control of the problem myself through special task forces and odd hope processes. this would be the case with the mrap vehicles, additional intelligence, surveil answer, shortened medevac times, counter ied equipment, and even the care of wounded warriors. i learned that if the secretary made it a personal priority, set tight deadlines, and held people
accountable, it was actually possible to get a lot done even quickly, even in a massive bureaucracy like the pentagon. but satisfying critical operational and battlefield needs cannot depend solely on the intense personal involvement of the secretary. that is not sustainable. the challenge is how to institutionalize a culture and an incentive structure that encourages wartime urgency simultaneous with long-term planning and acquisition as a matter of course. a final thought relative to defense organizations and authorities. through my tenure i was privileged to work with two superb chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, pete pace and mike mullen, who were true partners while providing independent, occasionally disse dissenting, professional military advice. the chairman along with the vice chairman is the one senior military officer with a stake in both current needs and future
requirements. one of the great achievements of goldwater nichols was strengthening the position of the operational commanders and the chairman relative to the service chiefs. i believe that as a general principle this must be sustained. service chiefs have a tenure of four years, combatant commanders nom ali three years. yet the chairman and vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff have a two-year renewable terms. i believe their service vis-a-vis would be strengthened by also giving them four-year terms. this would not diminish their accountability to the president, defense secretary, and congress. second, a subject for years have been a focus of this committee, the acquisition process. not onlys a goldwater nichols hit the 30-year mark so, too, as the office of the secretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics. at and l was established because
service-driven acquisition system was yielding too many over designed, over budget, and over scheduled programs. the theory was that by giving acquisition responsibility for major programs to a senior osd official removed from parochial service interest, wiser and more disciplined decisions would ens ensue. so what can we say 30 years on? we've succeeded in building a new layer of burk crass eaucrac thousands more employees and thousands to feed it. but when it comes to output the results have been quite mixed. as secretary i found that despite all of the osd and joint oversight mechanisms, far too many major weapons and equipment programs were ridiculously overdue, overcost, or no longer relevant to the highest priority definance needs. to the chagrin to many inside the pentagon and probably here on the hill i canceled or capped more than 30 major programs in
2009 that have built out fully would have cost the taxpayers $330 billion. so where does that leaf us today as congress considers reforms for the future? problems with the service is running acquisitions led to greater centralization and oversight through at and l but that led to another set of problems in the form of sizable central bureaucracy that adds delays and related costs without discernible benefit. so now there's pressure and legislation to return significantly more acquisition authority back to the services. my sense is the right answer lies with finding a better balance between centralization and dea centralization than we now have. but a strong word of caution. you must not weaken the authority of the secretary of defense and his ultimate decision making power on acquisition. i cannot imagine a service chief or service secretary able to overcome intense internal pressures and voluntarily do away with, for example, programs
like the army future combat system, the airborne laser, the zoom wall destroyer, or dozens of other troubled and needlessly exquisite systems that built up a loyal service constituency. the simple fact is that such decisions are not just programatic but political. and only the secretary of defense with the strong support of the president, has the clout, the power, inside the pentagon, with industry, and here on the hill to make such decisions and make them stick. a couple of other observations seem obvious, as you and the secretary of defense addressed this issue, nothing will work without rigorously applied accountability. within the services, by at and l, and by the secretary. and then there is the importance of basic blocking and tackling on the acquisitions process. to high level rigorous control of requirements and limiting
changes beyond a certain point, competitive prototyping wherever probable before program initiation, more realistic cost estimates, and revising contract incentives to better reward success and penalize failure. also promising a year legislative efforts of mr. chairman to streamline acquisition processes, encourage more use of commercial products and pricing, and attract more non-traditional vendors to defense markets. that said, at the end of the day, redrawing the organization chart or enacting new acquisition laws and rules will matter less than leaders skilled enough to execute programs effectively, willing to take tough usually unpopular choices, and establish strong measures of accountability. and willing to get rid of those not performing well, whether people or programs.
in terms of being better stewards of taxpayer dollars more broadly, the effort i began in 2010 to reduce overhead costs and continued by my successors must be renewed and sus stabed. it was telling that in just four months in 2010 we found some $180 billion over a multi-year period we could cut in overhead. there is as deputy secretary gordon liked to say, a river of money flowing under the pentagon, primarily funded through catch-all operations and maintenance accounts. now, there's no line item in the defense budget called waste, so getting ats unnecessary overhead spending without harming important functions is extremely hard work. it's kind of like a huge easter egg hunt but it can and must be done. a brief word here on resisting the usual approach of reducing budgets with across the board cuts. i have seen countless washington reform efforts over the years
result in mindless salami slicing of programs and organizations. that is not reform. it is managerial and political cowardness. true reform requires making trades and choices and tough decisions, recognize that some activities are more important than others. it's hard to do but it's essential if you are to reshape any organization into a more effective and efficient enterprise. further the congress must contain its own bad behavior. such as insisting on continuing unneeded programs because of parochial interest, preventing the closure of roughly one quarter of all facilities deemed access, burdening the department with excessive and frequently expensive rules and reporting requirements and more. my third broad point with regard to the interagency process, from time to time the idea arises to reorganize the u.s. national security apparatus put together in 1947 to better integrate
defense, diplomacy, and development. a goldwater nichols for the interagency, if you will. goldwater nichols has mostly worked at the defense department because when push comes to shove as it often does there, everyone in and out of uniform ultimately works for one person, the secretary of defense. and he or she has the last word and can tell everyone to get in line. when multiple cabinet departments are involved however there is only one person with that kind of authority, the president. the national security council and its staff were created to provide the president with organizational mechanism to coordinate and integrate their efforts. how well that works depends entirely on the personal relationships among the principles and the talents and skills of the national security adviser. even this structure headquartered just down the hall from the oval office works poorly if the secretary of state and the secretary of defense can't stand one another, as was
a case for a good part of my time in the government or if the national security adviser isn't an honest broker. how well the planning activities and efforts of state, defense, and others are coordinated and integrated is a responsibility of one person, the president. and there is nothing anybody else, including the congress, can do about it. i'll conclude with three other reasons the nation is paying more for defense in real dollars today than 30 years ago and getting less, and getting less. one is that men and women in uniform today drive, fly, or sail platform which are vastly more capable and technologically advanced than a generation ago. that edtechnology and capabilit comes with a hefty price tag. a second reason for the higher cost is the exploding personnel costs of the department. a very real problem on which i know this committee and others are at least beginning to make some inroads after years futility. the third factor contributing to
increased costs and one of immense importance is the role of congress itself. here i am talking about the years long budgetary impasse on the hill and between the congress and the president. the department of defense a had an enacted appropriations bill to start the fiscal year only twice in the last ten years. the last seven years, all began under a continuing resolution. during the first six full fiscal years of the obama administration the defense department has operated under continuing resolutions for a third of the time. a cumulative total of two years. department leaders also have had to deal with a threat and in one year the imposition of sequestration, a completely mindless and cowardly mechanism for budget cutting. because of the inability of the congress and the president to find a budget compromise in 2013 defense spending was reduced mid year by $37 billion. all of these cuts applied
equally and percentage terms to 2500 line items of the defense budget and requiring precise management of each cut to comply with the antideficiency act with its criminal penalties for violations. sequestration effectively cut about 30% of day-to-day operating funds in the second half of fy '13. but then add to this mess the fact that the department probably the largest organization on the planet in recent years has had to plan for five different potential government shut downs. in the fall of 2013 with sequestration still ongoing the pentagon actually had to implement one of the those shutdowns for 16 days affecting 640,000 employees or 85% of the civilian workforce. it is hard to quantify the cost of the budgetary turmoil of the past five years. the cuts, the continuing resolutions, sequestration, gimmicks, furloughs, shutdowns,
unpredictability and more. during continuing resolutions in particular, the inability to execute programs on schedule, limits on being able to ramp up production or start new programs or to take full advantage of savings offered by multi-year purchases, the time consuming and unpredictable process of reprogramming even small amounts of money to higher all of these tre mund douse cost on the taxpayer. these don't even begin to account for the cost involved in the hundreds of thousands of man-hours required with the managerial nightmare. moreover, reimposition of full scale sequestration looms in january absent of a bipartisan budget agreement. given the harm all of the politically driven madness inflicts on the u.s. military, rhetoric from members of congress about looking out for our men and women in uniform
rings very hollow to me. further, the legislatidggislati dysfunction is embarrassing in the eyes of the world at a time when allies and friends are looking to us for leadership and reassurance. all the reforms you can come up with will be of little use if the military is unable to plan, to set priorities and to manage its resources in a sensible and strategic way. the failure of the congress in recent years because of the partisan divide to pass timely and predictable defense budgets and its continuing parochialism when it comes to failing programs and unneeded facilities has not only greatly increased the cost of defense, it has contributed to weakening our military capabilities and it has broken faith with our men and women in uniform. this committee with its counterpart in the house has long supported on a bipartisan basis a strong defense and protecting those in uniform. as you consider needed me forms in the pentagon, i fervently
hope you will also urge your colleagues in congress to break with the recent past and place the national interest and our national security ahead of ideological purity or achaefing partisan advantage. because as you know as well as i, our system of government has designed by the founders who wrote and negotiated the provisions of the constitution is depended on compromise to function. to do so is not selling out, it is called governing. thank you. >> well, thank you, mr. secretary. dr. gates, thank you. those are very strong words and i wish that all 535 members of congress could hear the -- your closing remarks. i will quote them quite often and quite liberally. it is, frankly, a damning but
accurate indictment about our failure to the men and women in the military, the 300 million americans, and the security of our nation. we are also looking at a debt limit showdown, mr. secretary. we all know that debt limits have to be raised because of spending practices, yet we now have a substantial number of members of congress that, by god, we're not going to vote to increase the debt limit and anybody that does is, of course, a traitor and doesn't care about fiscal responsibility. the rhetoric has been very interesting. so we're now looking at sequestration and we're also looking at the debt limit and we're also looking at a president and secretary of defense -- with the secretary of defense's support, of ve vet
towing a bill that is not a money bill, it's a policy bill. so the president is threatening to veto because of the issue of not increasing nondefense spending when there is nothing that this committee nor the authorizing process can do to change that. i'm sorry to say that members of this committee will be voting to sustain a presidential veto on an issue that we have nothing that we can change. well, could i just ask, again, on sequestration, i also would ask a specific question, in your remarks it was interesting to me that you didn't make a single comment about the service secretaries and their role. do you think we ought to do away with the service secretary, dr.
gates? >> i thought about that -- i've thought about that. thanks to your staff providing me with some of the issues that you all might want to discuss today. and i think that -- i think i would say no to that question. and i would say it primarily because i think that having a civilian service secretary does strengthen the civilian leadership and civilian dominance of our military. if there is -- and they are able to do so on a day -to-day basis in decision making that a single person like a secretary of defense could not do. i mean, i couldn't -- the secretary can sort of reiterate that and make it clear in his actions that civilian control is
important but i think that the symbolism to members of the services that there is a civilian at the head of their own service, who is responsible for them and accountable for them, i think is important. >> let me go back over this relationship between at and l, the uniform service chiefs, secretary of defense, and you cited a couple of cases whereby going around the entire process as an mrap you mentioned and other cases, where -- go over for the benefit of the committee again, where is the balance? we're trying to, in this legislation, give some more authority and responsibility to the service chiefs who right now, as i understand it, have none and yet, at the same time, as you said, not return too much to the service chiefs because of
their advocacy and their view of sacrisanct programs they believe is important to their services. i don't quite get that balance there. >> i wish i would give you a precise and very specific answer. it seems to me that -- i mean, the irony is that, for example, when it came to the mraps, i made the we the situation but it was the leadership of at and l that executed the programs and signed the contracts and actually implemented then by the marine corps actually had the responsibility because they had originated -- the mraps were originally their idea and it was their success in anbar that led me to expand it. but the problem that i ran into
in the defense department is that any problem, whether it's an acquisition or anything else, affects multiple parts of the department, none of which can tell the other what to do. so -- so if the comptroller has a problem, he can't tell at and l what to do. if cost assessment and program evaluation has a problem, they can't tell at and l or anybody else what to do. they only report to me or to the secretary. and so the reason i found myself chairing these meetings was because there were enough. different parts of the department who were involved in almost any decision that no one below the secretary could actually get everybody in the room and say this is what you have to do.
so how you fix that institutionally, and i will tell you when ash carter was at and l, the undersecretary, and particularly by last six or eight months, ash and i talked all the time. ash, how do we institutionalize this, how do we institutionalize meeting these urgent needs along with the long-range kind of planning and acquisition that we have? and, frankly, when i left, we hadn't solved that problem. but it has to -- the services do have authority. they do have procurement or acquisition authority and they do have senior people in those positions. and frankly, my sense is that there are a couple that i dealt with seemed to me to be quite capable. but how you -- how you realign the roles of at and l and the service procurement or ak
acquisition officers i don't have an easy solution for you. all i can suggest is that there be a dialogue between this committee and secretary carter and the services in at and l. in terms of how you adjust the balance, it is clear to me that the balance has shifted too far to at and l. and therefore there needs to be some strengthening of the role of the services. but central to that will be forcing the service leaders, the chief of staff and the secretary, to hold people accountable and to hold those two people accountable for the service. i know mark millie was up here testifying and said, give me the authority. if i don't do it right, fire me. that's kind of extreme. but at a certain point, accountability is a big piece of
this and i just -- i don't have for you a line drawing or even a paragraph where i could tell you here's where you redraw the balance because i'm not sure right where that line goes. >> thank you, senator reed? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you, dr. gates, for insightful syst fuful testimony. not only giving us advice but pointing to the questions which you are still thinking through. helps me. we plan very well for the initial phase i, phase two, phase three operations with our equipment, with our personnel. it's the -- usually the phase four of how we sort of conduct, pro tract, or that you predicted will be the likely face of conflict in the future. so of much of that depends on capacity building in the local nations. and so much of that depends upon
non-dod elements, state department, police trainers, public health systems. i think we've seen that so many times in iraq and afghanistan. and this comes back to the point i think you've also made about, you know, if these agencies are not properly funded, are not properly integrated, then we could succeed in initial phase of the battle but fail ultimately. is that a fair assessment? >> i can only remind this committee how many times you heard from our commanding generals in both iraq and afghanistan about the desperate need for more civilians, both in iraq and afghanistan. and the value that they brought. secretary rice used to chide me occasionally reminding me we had more people in military bands than she had in the entire
foreign service. i'll give you another example though. and it's an action that frankly where both the executive branch and the congress are responsible. when i left government in 1993 the agency for international development had 16,000 employees. they were dedicated, professionals. they were acustomed to working in dangerous and difficult circumstances in developing countries, and they brought extraordinary not only skill but passion. when i returned to government 13 years later, in 2006, aid was down to 3,000 employees and they were mostly contractors. and that is a measure of what's happened in the development part of our broader strategy. and i would say that, you know, for those of us of a certain age who can remember usia in its hay day, what we have in the way of
strategic communications in our government today is a very pale reflection of that. so those -- that whole civilian side has -- has been neglected for a very long time. >> and that neglect will be exacerbated by sequestration and they will not -- these agencies don't have a way to provide at least short-term funding as dod does through the overseas contingency accounts. they're just stuck. and because they don't function well, i think that's the conclusion you draw, our overall national security, overall responsiveness is impaired dramatically. is that fair? >> i believe so, yes, sir. >> it raises the issue, too, because this is the ub subjesuba lot of our discussions is we have tried to find the money for the department of defense and the account that's bearing the bulk of the differences both budgetary and political is the overseas contingency account.
as a means of funding defense on a long-term basis, in your view is that an adequate approach or should we raise the regular budget caps and do it as we thought we used to do it? >> well, first of all, my approach when i was secretary was to take every dollar i could get wherever i could get it. >> i know. >> it's a terrible way to budget. i mean, it's -- it's a -- it is a gimmick. it is a -- it does provide the resources, but it's hard to disagree with -- i mean, the way that things ought to operate is that -- is that if there is a sense on the hill, a majority view that the budget needs to be cut to reduce the deficit, you go through regular order of
business and you, like i did when i was secretary of defense, you make tough decisions. what are you going to fund, what are you not going to fund? but you make choices. that's what leadership and political life is all about, it seems to me. and then you vote a budget and money flows, whether there's more or less of it. you know, in the current paralyzed state, maybe there's no alternative right now to getting the money this way. but it is, as the saying used to go, it's a hell of a way to run a railroad. >> well, thank you very much, dr. gates, for your extraordinary service to the nation. thank you. >> general sessions. >> thank you, dr. gates. thank you for your service. i would add my compliments to those of predecessor -- prior speakers that i believe you represent one of the best
defense secretaries the nation's ever had. i know you served with dedication, put the nation's interest first, you put the defense department first. some of your former cabinet colleagues put secretary of health first and education first and roads first, so we got pleased from every department agency and we don't have as much money as we like. so the crisis we've entered on the budget process is essentially that the president of the united states has said, you republicans care about defense. you're not getting any more money for defence unless i get more money for nondefense. that's a big conflict. so the process we move forward met the defense department's request and president's request for defense but has not met nondefense increases, all of